When Tiger Woods departed the grounds of TPC Sawgrass two weeks ago after a disappointing final round in the Players, he was clearly frustrated with his faltering swing, but resolute about his prospects for a cure.
"I'll fix it, no problem," he averred.
Consider him fixed, John Cook says.
Once a neighbor and frequent practice partner of Woods's at Isleworth CC in Orlando, Cook joined the No. 1 player in the world for a golf clinic last weekend at Tiger Jam XII in Las Vegas, and reported that Woods looked good as new. Or he looked like the Tiger of old, take your pick.
"Whatever he was doing (wrong), he wasn't doing it out there," Cook said Thursday at the Senior PGA Championship at Canterbury GC in Beachwood, Ohio, near Cleveland. "He hit it great at the clinic. He was hitting it high and straight with the driver. If he wanted to shape a shot, he could do it, in either direction. He looked fantastic - as good as I've ever seen him."
Cook said he didn't know anything about speculation that there was tension between Woods and swing coach Hank Haney. "I purposely didn't ask," he said. But he pointed out that Haney was in Las Vegas for all the Tiger Jam festivities.
Playing in the final pairing with 54-hole leader Alex Cejka, Woods shot a final-round 73 at the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass and finished tied for eighth. He is expected to compete in two weeks at the Memorial Tournament before defending his U.S. Open title at Bethpage Black in New York.
Cook thinks he will be ready. "He was off a long time, and he's still getting back into it, still a little anxious on the golf course," Cook says. "But I can tell you he looked good for an hour and a half hitting balls at the clinic, and we all know what he's capable of. I think he's figured things out."
-- Dave Shedloski